Watershed Planning
The Fox River Watershed includes dozens of subwatersheds, areas that are a watershed for a specific creek, stream or lake that feeds into the larger Fox River. Visit our Subwatershed Page for information about many of these segments of the Fox Watershed.

Below is information about planning activities in several of the Fox subwatersheds; those currently being created, those recently completed, and watershed groups that have formed to help implement their plans.
What is a Watershed?
A Watershed is an area of land that drains water into a common receiving body or outlet such as a stream. Watershed boundaries are defined by nature and are largely determined by the topography or "lay of the land."  
What is Watershed Planning?  
Watershed planning is a collaborative approach to addressing a variety of related water resource issues including water quality protection. This approach allows stakeholders to share information, better target limited financial resources, and address common water-related challenges. These challenges can include improving stream and lake water quality, preserving and protecting groundwater resources, managing stormwater, reducing soil erosion and flood damage, conserving open space, protecting wildlife habitat, providing safe lake and stream recreational opportunities, supporting opportunities for economic development, preserving prime farmland, and other issues of concern.  Watershed-based plans are being developed throughout Illinois and elsewhere in the country to address nonpoint-source pollution prevention and water resource protection needs as well as provide a unique forum for public education, involvement, outreach, and community-capacity building opportunities.    
Benefits of Participation  
Planning on a watershed basis provides an opportunity to address quality-of-life issues related to natural resources that we share in common.  Watershed planning enables development of solutions to common problems that better match the way in which water flows through our local landscapes.

Watershed planning can increase public awareness and community support for local sustainability initiatives. Outcomes include recommendations for priority watershed projects and plans.  Action items identified in the plan become eligible for state and federal funding to help local sponsors implement those projects.
The Fox River Basin
The Fox River Basin is a collection of nested watersheds and serves as a vital drinking water supply for communities large and small.  The Fox River Basin is a significant recreational resource, and home to 150 state-threatened and endangered species in the region.  However, Fox River water quality has been impaired by land-use change and other activities that have not adequately protected the rich natural resources of the river basin.
Planning Process:
Recent and current planning follows the Guidance for Developing Watershed Action Plans in Illinois, created by CMAP and IEPA. Additionally, this plan will work to address newer regional planning criteria including groundwater protection strategies.
 
Key Links
EPA Healthy Watersheds
FREP - Subwatersheds of the Fox Page
Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
Organizations Working on Watershed Planning & Implementation:
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning  CMAP
The Conservation Foundation
Environmental Defenders of McHenry County
Fox River Study Group
 
Watersheds Currently Involved in Watershed Planning
Boone-Dutch
Creek Watershed
Spring Creek Watershed Woods Creek Watershed
Watersheds with Completed Plans
9 Lakes Watershed
Blackberry Creek  *
Ferson-Otter Creek  *
Fish Lake Drain Watershed
Flint Creek Watershed  *
Jelkes Creek
Nippersink Creek  *
Poplar Creek Watershed
Sequoit Creek Watershed
Silver & Sleepy Hollow Creek *
Squaw Creek Watershed
Tyler Creek Watershed  *
 
* Indicates an active group   Check link to website for contact & meeting information
CMAP Planning Project
Planning was completed in December 2012 for three new watershed plans. This project was coordinated by the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning  -CMAP,  the delegated authority for the region’s areawide water quality management plan. CMAP entered into an agreement with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) to complete watershed-based plans within the Fox River Basin. The watershed planning project commenced in September 2010 in Blackberry Creek and Ferson-Otter Creek watersheds (Lower Fox River, Kane and Kendall counties) and in Sleepy Hollow Creek and Silver Creek watersheds (Upper Fox River, McHenry County).  Funding for these projects was provided by the IEPA through Section 604(b) of the Clean Water Act (CWA).
A collaborative structure for conserving the Fox River, an important source of regional water supply was created through the involvement of planning partners: The Conservation Foundation (TCF), Environmental Defenders of McHenry County (EDMC), and the Fox River Ecosystem Partnership (FREP). The Fox River Study Group's hydrologic and water quality simulation models being developed by the Illinois State Water Survey were used to estimate watershed-pollutant loads. 
 
 
Watersheds of the recently
completed CMAP Project:
Blackberry Creek Watershed Coalition
Blackberry Creek Page


For more information, Email Tara Neff at:  tneff@theconservationfoundation.org
 
Ferson-Otter Creek Watershed Coalition
Ferson-Otter Creek Page

For more information, Email Tara Neff at:  tneff@theconservationfoundation.org
 
Silver & Sleepy Hollow Creeks Watersheds Coalition

For more information, call 815-338-0393
or email mcdef@owc.net

Silver & Sleepy Hollow Creek Page
 
FREP